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 Post subject: Should There Be an Emergency Locomotive Fund?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:35 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:54 pm
Posts: 1821
The reason travails of 503 has led me to wonder if there should be an Emergency Fund that would be in place, monitoring endangered locomotives (and other rolling stock) that is either funded in advance or makes the kind of use of crowd funding that we saw so effectively deployed with this engine.

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Discuss Merits, Objections, Requirements and Difficulties.


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 Post subject: Re: Should There Be an Emergency Locomotive Fund?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 2:09 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2018 6:08 am
Posts: 60
Well, obvious answer to me seems to be the RYPN's pretty good at keeping an ear to the ground for endangered locomotives. The issue is there always needs to be people like Jason and Nick willing to step up to the plate and take charge when locos become endangered in order to find them new homes. So far as I am aware they did this because it's somewhat nearby to them.

Could we say the same with other engines and groups? Or would Jason and Nick be willing to take on such a task again?

As others have rightly noted (and is true both sides of the pond) Heritage Lines can look like roving scrap yards as is! Let alone if locomotives would suddenly turn up in the event of an endangerment. So there's those practical concerns to consider there as well. Moving a loco from where it's under threat to where it'd be owned by a trust or charity... but only rotting on some short line isn't necessarily a better fate.

Organising in the way we saw with the 503 is certainly a masterstroke of social media fundraising, and bares both close study and a proper post-mortem going forward to see what worked and what did not.

As for a fund itself? I think that'd be a bad idea. Mostly because it'll get some money dumped in it, and then everyone will just shrug when it comes to buying up engines "oh those guys will take care of it." when what we've learnt with the 503 funding is that lots of little donations from all over the shop can really make the difference.


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 Post subject: Re: Should There Be an Emergency Locomotive Fund?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 2:36 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:54 pm
Posts: 1821
"Mostly because it'll get some money dumped in it"

What if the fund raising was done not in advance, but in response to specific endangerments and part of the fundraising was to defray the expenses of travel, lodging and meals for the boots on the ground.

It seems to be blind luck that the right guys happened to be in the right place at the right time.


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 Post subject: Re: Should There Be an Emergency Locomotive Fund?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 3:14 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2018 6:08 am
Posts: 60
superheater wrote:
"Mostly because it'll get some money dumped in it"

What if the fund raising was done not in advance, but in response to specific endangerments and part of the fundraising was to defray the expenses of travel, lodging and meals for the boots on the ground.

It seems to be blind luck that the right guys happened to be in the right place at the right time.


In that situation you'd likely be looping back around to the long standing issue of a national advocacy group which seems non-existent in the US. With that to hand a lot of other situations and issues would fall into place as it'd come under its remit. Much like this ELF would you're looking for a high(ish) profile national minded group hunting down or saving engines under threat, or at the very least advocating they get covers etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Should There Be an Emergency Locomotive Fund?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 4:41 pm 
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Location: Orrville, OH
An interesting proposition for sure but oh, so many things could go wrong in so many ways from petty arguments to law suits over who, what, when, where, why and how. Damned if you do and damned if you don't; no good deed goes unpunished; etc, etc.

I would think a watch list could suffice and if things get to the point where an artifact needs to and should be saved, then a predetermined game plan could be put into action. But, you'd need people to administer the whole thing and I don't think there are any organizations willing to step up to that plate.

My depreciated two cents worth....

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ORHS Car Knocker & Gandy Dancer
http://www.orrvillerailroad.com


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 Post subject: Re: Should There Be an Emergency Locomotive Fund?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 5:45 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:41 pm
Posts: 448
Location: Minneapolis, MN
If anyone has a question about whether there should be an "Emergency Locomotive Fund", all they have to do is read RYPN to get a feel for the unremitting contentiousness of the rail preservation world. I see no way to build a consensus on appropriate uses for such a fund. Especially in a case where speed is of the essence.

For preservation to work there must be a person or group that is willing to "own" the project. It isn't about saving a relic and then seeing it abandoned again because there is no group to follow up the "emergency salvation". We all know that simply saving a locomotive and restoring it whether cosmetic or to operation is a waste of money if there is no plan for the actual future of the thing. There has to be an ongoing commitment and an ownership of the process for any of this to have any hope of success.


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 Post subject: Re: Should There Be an Emergency Locomotive Fund?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:38 pm 

Joined: Sat May 07, 2016 1:12 am
Posts: 85
I think to avoid what almost happened to 503 we need something like this. The group responsible to manage the funds can also spin off a non profit to support that locomotive. This is using the strategy of the 503 effort which has worked so far. Because we know this can and probably will happen again and we must be proactive to be successful! That's my 2 cents


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 Post subject: Re: Should There Be an Emergency Locomotive Fund?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:58 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:17 am
Posts: 214
Location: New York
superheater wrote:
The reason travails of 503 has led me to wonder if there should be an Emergency Fund that would be in place, monitoring endangered locomotives (and other rolling stock) that is either funded in advance or makes the kind of use of crowd funding that we saw so effectively deployed with this engine.

Open topic:

Discuss Merits, Objections, Requirements and Difficulties.


No. Never mind it would be impossible to administrate. Who gets to decide which cause is most worthy? On what merit? Also, when people feel moved to donate, it's for personal reasons. Favorite equipment. Favorite road. Favorite whatever. People also want to see the results of their donation. No one want to make blind donations for a "rainy day fund" to save "something, somewhere, someday." If I'm a fan of XYZ Railroad, I don't want the Emergency Fund to save a PDQ Lines engine.

What you're describing is essentially a charitable foundation, and we already have several that focus on making donations to worthy railroad projects across the country.

-otto-

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 Post subject: Re: Should There Be an Emergency Locomotive Fund?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 12:22 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:54 pm
Posts: 1821
Otto Vondrak wrote:
superheater wrote:
The reason travails of 503 has led me to wonder if there should be an Emergency Fund that would be in place, monitoring endangered locomotives (and other rolling stock) that is either funded in advance or makes the kind of use of crowd funding that we saw so effectively deployed with this engine.

Open topic:

Discuss Merits, Objections, Requirements and Difficulties.


No. Never mind it would be impossible to administrate. Who gets to decide which cause is most worthy? On what merit? Also, when people feel moved to donate, it's for personal reasons. Favorite equipment. Favorite road. Favorite whatever. People also want to see the results of their donation. No one want to make blind donations for a "rainy day fund" to save "something, somewhere, someday." If I'm a fan of XYZ Railroad, I don't want the Emergency Fund to save a PDQ Lines engine.

What you're describing is essentially a charitable foundation, and we already have several that focus on making donations to worthy railroad projects across the country.

-otto-


So which one opened their checkbook to support Jason and Nick?

I'm afraid you missed the word "emergency". When the scrapper's signature is on the contract, that's an emergency. It makes the decision pretty easy if the Board is at all on the ball.


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 Post subject: Re: Should There Be an Emergency Locomotive Fund?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 3:05 am 

Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:27 am
Posts: 492
Location: Winters, TX
I tend to agree that this would not work for the same reasons that Mr. Schlentner and Mr. Vondrak stated. There would just be too much bickering over what locomotive "deserves" to be saved, even if scrappers are firing up their torches next to that locomotive.

Bear in mind that Jason learned about the 503 from a post on this board which provided a link to a newspaper article about the fate of this engine. So keeping watch on endangered artifacts and monitoring media reports and alerting this board to any emergencies seems to be sufficient. At which time those with an interest in the locomotive can take action. Just my two cent worth, plus Gofundme's 2.9% cut.


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 Post subject: Re: Should There Be an Emergency Locomotive Fund?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 9:39 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:29 pm
Posts: 1326
Location: Youngstown, OH
I had such an idea last week, and even also called it the "Emergency Locomotive Fund". It is good to see that like minds think alike! However, it is rather disheartening to see that so many do not think that the spirit of cooperation that existed last week cannot be carried forward into more proactive actions.

OK guys it is reality check time. What happened with the 503 may be repeatable or it may not. The next time that a locomotive is faced with scrapping we may all not pull together like we did this time, or the window for action may be even shorter.

The ELF that I have in mind would initially be funded through a combination of online fundraising and monthly giving options. It would be under the control of a board of trustees made up of a group of well known and respected railway preservationists and would be considered a last ditch option when all other options have failed.

I would propose that the fund be restricted for use only in the following conditions:

1) scrap is the only other option. The fund would not be used to bid against another party who wished to keep the locomotive in an intact condition.
2) Restricted to steam locomotives only, except for extreme cases.
3) There must be an entity who would adopt the locomotive
4) There must be a groundswell of support for saving the locomotive including its own fundraising program, which the fund would supplement.

Since a nonprofit entity would have to be created to administer the fund, I would propose that such organization also be available to serve as an interim owner of an endangered locomotive. Such as in the case of the 503, if such an entity were in existence, the organization would be the one administering the Gofundme and would be the ones who would take title to the locomotive, with the understanding that once a locomotive specific entity is created that title is transferred to that organization.

We as a preservation community can decide whether to use last week's success as a springboard to become more proactive, or to just retreat back into our respective corners, sit on our hands and pray for a miracle the next time. And let me tell you, there WILL BE A NEXT TIME! And the next locomotive may be something more universally loved than a rather unknown ten wheeler.

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Rick Rowlands
J&L Narrow Gauge Railroad
"The shortest and narrowest Railroad in Ohio"


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 Post subject: Re: Should There Be an Emergency Locomotive Fund?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 9:45 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:29 pm
Posts: 1326
Location: Youngstown, OH
One option for funding this would be something like Patreon, where you can choose to support online content creators with monthly contributions. You could set up monthly payments from a credit card at any amount, from $1.00 on up. Would any of us really miss a dollar or five a month? But if enough of us did it, the fund could grow by $100 or more per month from this means alone, and by the time the next crisis occurred there may be enough money to make a difference.

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Rick Rowlands
J&L Narrow Gauge Railroad
"The shortest and narrowest Railroad in Ohio"


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 Post subject: Re: Should There Be an Emergency Locomotive Fund?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 11:45 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:29 pm
Posts: 1326
Location: Youngstown, OH
Another way to think of this is as an insurance policy. We all pay our "premium" of a buck a month or more, and over time the "insured amount" keeps increasing. In the unfortunate event of a significant steam locomotive becoming endangered, the "policy" would then pay out to support that preservation effort. Obviously this policy is not the ultimate solution for each and every endangered locomotive out there, but it could make a difference in one future case.

How would it be decided what effort to support? Well those questions can be answered once we have decided that this would be a good thing to do. Those questions are not deal killers. None of us squabbled over saving the 503. We all knew that it was worth saving. Would all of us donated as much for a tank engine? Probably not. Why?

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Rick Rowlands
J&L Narrow Gauge Railroad
"The shortest and narrowest Railroad in Ohio"


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 Post subject: Re: Should There Be an Emergency Locomotive Fund?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 12:11 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2015 11:54 am
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Location: Orrville, OH
I should clarify.... I'm not sayin' it's a bad idea, I kinda like it. Just expect at least as many stabs as pats on the back. You'll need really thick skin. As Rick puts forth, you'd definitely need a set of rules to govern how it's run and set criteria for making any determinations. 501(c)(3) would be a must. Buy-in from preservation organizations could add to legitimacy.

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ORHS Car Knocker & Gandy Dancer
http://www.orrvillerailroad.com


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 Post subject: Re: Should There Be an Emergency Locomotive Fund?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 2:07 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 10:49 am
Posts: 252
Location: Cambridgeshire UK
Hi Guys, Most of us who have replied to this topic, have had valid points on setting up some sort of endangered locomotive fund, is a great idea, but some things to consider or addressed as part of any sort of rescue fund. Who or who is gong to administer the fund (organisation, board, association of preservation groups, NRHS, Ross Rowland (Hi ya Ross), or some sort of governing body made up railway historians, etc... )? And what about the transport and the arrangement of secure storage / safe locations (short and long term) of rescued locomotives that are in immediate risk or danger until a permanent home can be found. The 503 so far has been working the problem and perhaps we can use their experiences once the dust settles to see if setting up some sort of locomotive "Red Cross" type, disaster fund. This is what RYPN is for, lets work on this! Have fun - David Notarius, some ex Black River and Western coal scoop jockey - freezing in England


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